Monday, November 10, 2014

Uploading, Downloading, & Reloading EU Policies: Angela Merkel's Efforts to Europeanize a Sustainable Energy Turn-Around


Joyce Mushaben, professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, gave a lecture entitled "Uploading, Downloading, & Reloading EU Policies: Angela Merkel's Efforts to Europeanize a Sustainable Energy Turn-Around" on October 24, 2014 as a part of the EUC's lecture series.

From Dr. Mushaben's abstract:
European integration owes much to the formal as well as informal "downloading" of  Community values and binding operational concepts. Despite its ongoing democratic deficits, the integration process also gratns individual member states many opportunities for "uploading" benchmarks, indicators and best practices, e.g., by way of expert committees and national “personnel loans” to the relevant DGs. Angela Merkel’s performance at the 2007 G-8 Summit  at Heiligendamm earned her the title of “Climate Chancellor” well before other leaders were willing to put global warming and sustainable energy policies on the international agenda. Jettisoning an SPD-Green decision to cap the life-span of the country’s nuclear plants by 2020 when she was re-elected in 2009, Merkel reversed course 180-degrees following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi melt-down, dramatically accelerating Germany's own Energy Turn-around. By 2012, Germany had exceeded several EU 2020 targets, while also creating 1.8 million green-technology jobs.  It therefore has a solid stake in compelling other member-states to follow its lead. This paper argues that while Merkel’s  “visibility” as a mover-and-shaker in the Euro-crisis has impeded her ability to take an obvious lead in the EU energy field, the last ten years do provide evidence of a substantial amount of  “policy uploading” by Germany,  especially in relation to tougher GHG emissions standards  and  accelerated renewable energy adoption on the part of other  member-states.

A video of the lecture is available to view in the EUC's video library or below:

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